City Reflections
1907, Vancouver, 2007

VPL Special Collections: 971.133 H25c

Footage based on the earliest known surviving film footage of Vancouver, shot in 1907 by William Harbeck from the front platform of a streetcar as it made its way through the streets of downtown and the West End.

(Source: youtube.com)

Breviarium for the use of Dominican NunsGermany : s.n., ca. 1430Vancouver Public Library, Special Collections: LAT 096 B84gThis breviarium was penned in upright Gothic (lettres batardes) with eighteen lines to the page in black, red and blue; including numerous large initials on the finest vellum. Inside, a twelve page calendar is preceded by a circular sun and moon with double circles in gold, silver, red, blue and green. The first page and page 167 are decorated in gold and other colours, with decorative borders and wide margins. The breviarium comprises 536 pages and has its original cover made of brown calf skin over oak boards. The locking clasps on the cover are missing; it is also surrounded by borders that were blind tooled with the words Ave Maria Gratia plena. This is considered to be a very beautiful German MS. in perfect condition, circa 1430.The breviarium was purchased for the Vancouver Public Library in the 1930s from a retired janitor in Kamloops; it may have been brought to Canada from Germany by a pioneering family.
Photo credit: Kim McCarthy

Breviarium for the use of Dominican Nuns
Germany : s.n., ca. 1430
Vancouver Public Library, Special Collections: LAT 096 B84g

This breviarium was penned in upright Gothic (lettres batardes) with eighteen lines to the page in black, red and blue; including numerous large initials on the finest vellum. Inside, a twelve page calendar is preceded by a circular sun and moon with double circles in gold, silver, red, blue and green. The first page and page 167 are decorated in gold and other colours, with decorative borders and wide margins. The breviarium comprises 536 pages and has its original cover made of brown calf skin over oak boards. The locking clasps on the cover are missing; it is also surrounded by borders that were blind tooled with the words Ave Maria Gratia plena. This is considered to be a very beautiful German MS. in perfect condition, circa 1430.

The breviarium was purchased for the Vancouver Public Library in the 1930s from a retired janitor in Kamloops; it may have been brought to Canada from Germany by a pioneering family.

Photo credit: Kim McCarthy

The Bugge BibleThe Byble, that is to say all the Holy Scripture; in whych are contayned the Olde and New Testamente, truly and purely translated into english, & nowe lately with greate industry & diligence recognised. London, Imprynted by J. Daye and W. Seres, 1549. Bible. English. Matthew’s version. 
Vancouver Public Library, Special Collections: 220.5 B85MT
Known as the “Bugge Bible.” Some editions of bibles contain misprints which can be unusual, humorous or just strange. Sometimes these are misspellings, or colloquialisms, or just blunders.The Bugge Bible is so-called because of odd wording in the 5th verse of the 91st Psalm, which reads:"So that thou shalt not nede to be afrayed for any bugges at night…”The King James Bible and all subsequent bibles uses the word “terror” in place of bugges. This has made the “Bugge Bible” unusual and collectible.The bible was acquired by the library in the 1930s.

Photo credit: Kim McCarthy

The Bugge Bible

The Byble, that is to say all the Holy Scripture; in whych are contayned the Olde and New Testamente, truly and purely translated into english, & nowe lately with greate industry & diligence recognised. London, Imprynted by J. Daye and W. Seres, 1549. Bible. English. Matthew’s version.

Vancouver Public Library, Special Collections: 220.5 B85MT


Known as the “Bugge Bible.” Some editions of bibles contain misprints which can be unusual, humorous or just strange. Sometimes these are misspellings, or colloquialisms, or just blunders.

The Bugge Bible is so-called because of odd wording in the 5th verse of the 91st Psalm, which reads:

"So that thou shalt not nede to be afrayed for any bugges at night…”

The King James Bible and all subsequent bibles uses the word “terror” in place of bugges. This has made the “Bugge Bible” unusual and collectible.

The bible was acquired by the library in the 1930s.

Photo credit: Kim McCarthy

Kuthan’s Menagerie Completed[described and illustrated by George Kuthan] : preface by Robert R. ReidVancouver Public Library, Special Collections: 769.971 K97k1Kuthan’s Menagerie, as it was originally titled, was published from the private press of Robert and Felicity Reid and is considered to be a masterpiece in Canadian private press printing. Only 60 of the edition’s 130 copies were ever bound. Now, publisher Rollin Milroy of Heavenly Monkey, has completed the book’s issue under the title Kuthan’s Menagerie Completed by publishing a portfolio of the unbound sheets.Robert Reid’s career as a printer spans 65 years, beginning with the reprinting of Waddington’s Fraser Mines Vindicated, the first book printed in British Columbia about the gold rush on the Fraser River in 1858. By reprinting this book, Reid established the first private press in Canada. In the early 1950s, Reid developed a reputation for avant garde printing and won awards in Art Directors Club shows and in 1956 was invited to teach graphic design and printing at the Vancouver School of Art. After being awarded a Canada Council Fellowship to travel to Europe, he returned to Canada to start a university press at McGill University. While at McGill he printed Lande Bibliography the finest letterpress-printed book every produced in Canada. He also redesigned the Montreal Star newspaper. Reid then moved to New York where he worked with major publishers for 23 years and produced more than a million and a quarter books. Reid currently lives in Vancouver.Kuthan’s Menagerie combines the talents of many individuals: George Kuthan created the exquisite linocuts that are featured throughout the book. Ib Kristensen set the original type for printing on English mould-made Golden Hind paper; Fritz Brunn bound the first 60 copies in quarter leather with Japanese paper over boards (different colour combinations of the same two-tone pattern were used), with yellow or grey Japanese paper endsheets, and Simone Mynen designed and made the custom cloth-covered clamshell box, with printed paper labels to house the book.
Photo credit: Kim McCarthy

Kuthan’s Menagerie Completed
[described and illustrated by George Kuthan] : preface by Robert R. Reid
Vancouver Public Library, Special Collections: 769.971 K97k1

Kuthan’s Menagerie, as it was originally titled, was published from the private press of Robert and Felicity Reid and is considered to be a masterpiece in Canadian private press printing. Only 60 of the edition’s 130 copies were ever bound. Now, publisher Rollin Milroy of Heavenly Monkey, has completed the book’s issue under the title Kuthan’s Menagerie Completed by publishing a portfolio of the unbound sheets.
Robert Reid’s career as a printer spans 65 years, beginning with the reprinting of Waddington’s Fraser Mines Vindicated, the first book printed in British Columbia about the gold rush on the Fraser River in 1858. By reprinting this book, Reid established the first private press in Canada. In the early 1950s, Reid developed a reputation for avant garde printing and won awards in Art Directors Club shows and in 1956 was invited to teach graphic design and printing at the Vancouver School of Art. After being awarded a Canada Council Fellowship to travel to Europe, he returned to Canada to start a university press at McGill University. While at McGill he printed Lande Bibliography the finest letterpress-printed book every produced in Canada. He also redesigned the Montreal Star newspaper. Reid then moved to New York where he worked with major publishers for 23 years and produced more than a million and a quarter books. Reid currently lives in Vancouver.

Kuthan’s Menagerie combines the talents of many individuals: George Kuthan created the exquisite linocuts that are featured throughout the book. Ib Kristensen set the original type for printing on English mould-made Golden Hind paper; Fritz Brunn bound the first 60 copies in quarter leather with Japanese paper over boards (different colour combinations of the same two-tone pattern were used), with yellow or grey Japanese paper endsheets, and Simone Mynen designed and made the custom cloth-covered clamshell box, with printed paper labels to house the book.

Photo credit: Kim McCarthy

Sunset Memorial Organization, men playing poker, Vancouver, B.C.
Vancouver Public Library, Special Collections:  #80455 Art Jones, 1946 
Early in 1994, a collection of approximately 11,000 photographs from Artray Limited Photographers was donated to Vancouver Public Library by Art Jones. This collection comprises a treasure trove of images of Vancouver from the 1940s and 50s depicting street scenes; vehicles; traffic accidents; local and visiting celebrities; theatres; parades; local architecture and industry; sports; people at work and play, as well as aerial views of the city. Approximately 1,000 images from this collection are now digitized and available for viewing via the website: The Artray Photograph Collection: Vignettes of Postwar Vancouver.

Sunset Memorial Organization, men playing poker, Vancouver, B.C.

Vancouver Public Library, Special Collections:  #80455 Art Jones, 1946 

Early in 1994, a collection of approximately 11,000 photographs from Artray Limited Photographers was donated to Vancouver Public Library by Art Jones. This collection comprises a treasure trove of images of Vancouver from the 1940s and 50s depicting street scenes; vehicles; traffic accidents; local and visiting celebrities; theatres; parades; local architecture and industry; sports; people at work and play, as well as aerial views of the city. Approximately 1,000 images from this collection are now digitized and available for viewing via the website: The Artray Photograph Collection: Vignettes of Postwar Vancouver.

Lan-ting calligraphy - By Wang Hsi-chih.1 scroll ; in box 38 x 10 x 10 cm. 1962? 
Vancouver Public Library, Special Collections: CHI 741.51 W24LThe Story of Lan-ting Calligraphy
The origin of Lan-ting calligraphy in 4th century China during the Jin Dynasty, involves the great calligrapher Wang Xizhi. Wang Xizhi’s role in the development of Chinese calligraphy has earned him the reputation as the “Sage of Calligraphy.”Wang Xizhi wrote his famous prologue, called the Lan-ting Xu, meaning Orchid Pavilion Preface, during a party at his country home in Lan-ting where he had invited friends to drink wine and write poems in celebration of the purification rites of spring. During the party Wang Xizhi wrote a preface to the poetry collection. His preface consists of 324 characters and 28 vertical rows and is highly regarded for its perfect strokes. Only reproductions of this work exist today as the original scroll is believed to have been buried with the Emperor Tang Taizong.Wang’s home near Shaoxing in Zhejiang Province, which he called the Orchid Pavilion, was rebuilt in the 16th century and now houses a calligraphy museum.
Photo credit: Kim McCarthy

Lan-ting calligraphy - By Wang Hsi-chih.
1 scroll ; in box 38 x 10 x 10 cm. 1962?

Vancouver Public Library, Special Collections: CHI 741.51 W24L

The Story of Lan-ting Calligraphy

The origin of Lan-ting calligraphy in 4th century China during the Jin Dynasty, involves the great calligrapher Wang Xizhi. Wang Xizhi’s role in the development of Chinese calligraphy has earned him the reputation as the “Sage of Calligraphy.”

Wang Xizhi wrote his famous prologue, called the Lan-ting Xu, meaning Orchid Pavilion Preface, during a party at his country home in Lan-ting where he had invited friends to drink wine and write poems in celebration of the purification rites of spring. During the party Wang Xizhi wrote a preface to the poetry collection. His preface consists of 324 characters and 28 vertical rows and is highly regarded for its perfect strokes. Only reproductions of this work exist today as the original scroll is believed to have been buried with the Emperor Tang Taizong.

Wang’s home near Shaoxing in Zhejiang Province, which he called the Orchid Pavilion, was rebuilt in the 16th century and now houses a calligraphy museum.

Photo credit: Kim McCarthy

Fragments on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening and Observations on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening London, printed by T. Bensley and Son for J. Taylor, 1826.Xii, 238p.: 42 coloured, tinted or uncoloured aquatint plates, some double-page, some with hinged overslips, aquatint vignettes and engraved illustrations in the text, 2 with overslips: 35cm.Vancouver Public Library, Special Collections:  712 R42f
Humphrey Repton
Humphrey Repton, whose career as a landscape gardener and designer spanned forty years, once expressed the intention of becoming the recognized successor to ‘Capability Brown’, an ambition he unquestionably fulfilled. A skilled businessman as well as a pre-eminent gardener, Repton would present his clients with a hand-written book containing his proposals for improving their property. The books were bound in red morocco and became known as his Red Books. He illustrated the books with watercolours that portrayed views of the landscape as it was at the time of consultation. The watercolours were given overlays which demonstrated how the property would look after the addition of a lake, a grove of newly planted trees, or the complete re-routing of a road. These ‘Red Books’ formed the basis of the two printed books of engravings which can now be seen in the Special Collections Department of the Vancouver Public Library.These two books are particularly valuable for the number of illustrations they contain of properties, such as Bulstrode, Grayhurst and West Wycombe for which Red Books no longer exist. The books employ an ingenious series of flaps and folds to illustrate the proposed changes rather than the overlays of the original. In his article “Collecting English Illustrated Books,” Graham Watson chooses Ackermann’s Microcosm of London and at least one title of Repton’s as essential for any significant collection of English colour-plate books.In 1977, Basilisk Press published The Red Books of Humphry Repton. This title consisted of collotype facsimiles of three of Repton’s books, incorporating all the details such as the overlays, an account of Repton’s life and influence, and a companion volume of sepia photographs by Eric de Mare showing how the properties looked in the 1970s. The books were on display at the Basilisk shop in London, and I remember handling them (very carefully), they were breathtakingly lovely. In 1981, Phaidon Press, the British art book publisher, issued a facsimile edition, printed by photolithography on heavy cream paper with only 14 plates in colour and 44 in black and white. It was bound in quarter calf with brown buckram over boards.

Photo credit: Kim McCarthy

Fragments on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening and Observations on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening London, printed by T. Bensley and Son for J. Taylor, 1826.
Xii, 238p.: 42 coloured, tinted or uncoloured aquatint plates, some double-page, some with hinged overslips, aquatint vignettes and engraved illustrations in the text, 2 with overslips: 35cm.
Vancouver Public Library, Special Collections:  712 R42f

Humphrey Repton
Humphrey Repton, whose career as a landscape gardener and designer spanned forty years, once expressed the intention of becoming the recognized successor to ‘Capability Brown’, an ambition he unquestionably fulfilled. A skilled businessman as well as a pre-eminent gardener, Repton would present his clients with a hand-written book containing his proposals for improving their property. The books were bound in red morocco and became known as his Red Books. He illustrated the books with watercolours that portrayed views of the landscape as it was at the time of consultation. The watercolours were given overlays which demonstrated how the property would look after the addition of a lake, a grove of newly planted trees, or the complete re-routing of a road. These ‘Red Books’ formed the basis of the two printed books of engravings which can now be seen in the Special Collections Department of the Vancouver Public Library.

These two books are particularly valuable for the number of illustrations they contain of properties, such as Bulstrode, Grayhurst and West Wycombe for which Red Books no longer exist. The books employ an ingenious series of flaps and folds to illustrate the proposed changes rather than the overlays of the original. In his article “Collecting English Illustrated Books,” Graham Watson chooses Ackermann’s Microcosm of London and at least one title of Repton’s as essential for any significant collection of English colour-plate books.

In 1977, Basilisk Press published The Red Books of Humphry Repton. This title consisted of collotype facsimiles of three of Repton’s books, incorporating all the details such as the overlays, an account of Repton’s life and influence, and a companion volume of sepia photographs by Eric de Mare showing how the properties looked in the 1970s. The books were on display at the Basilisk shop in London, and I remember handling them (very carefully), they were breathtakingly lovely. In 1981, Phaidon Press, the British art book publisher, issued a facsimile edition, printed by photolithography on heavy cream paper with only 14 plates in colour and 44 in black and white. It was bound in quarter calf with brown buckram over boards.

Photo credit: Kim McCarthy

The Dawson BuildingVancouver Public Library, Special Collections:  #20381Date: October 2, 1917Photographer / Studio: Dominion Photo Co.Content: The northwest corner of Hastings and Main Streets with streetcars going by and a policeman standing in the middle of the intersection. Dr. T.G. Moody, Dentist and Surgeon at corner. The Dawson Building was later renamed the Ford Building.
The Dominion Photo Company
Percy Bentley and John Fawcett  founded the Dominion Photograph Company in Vancouver in 1914 specializing in commercial/industrial photography and portraiture. Photographs from the company range from the early 1910s to the 1960s and they document the amazing growth of the city of Vancouver during this period. The earliest photographs (1914-1926) are in glass plate format  and a portion of these are now available online.

The Dawson Building
Vancouver Public Library, Special Collections:  #20381
Date: October 2, 1917
Photographer / Studio: Dominion Photo Co.
Content: The northwest corner of Hastings and Main Streets with streetcars going by and a policeman standing in the middle of the intersection. Dr. T.G. Moody, Dentist and Surgeon at corner. The Dawson Building was later renamed the Ford Building.

The Dominion Photo Company

Percy Bentley and John Fawcett  founded the Dominion Photograph Company in Vancouver in 1914 specializing in commercial/industrial photography and portraiture. Photographs from the company range from the early 1910s to the 1960s and they document the amazing growth of the city of Vancouver during this period. The earliest photographs (1914-1926) are in glass plate format  and a portion of these are now available online.

Childhood Summers by the Sea, The Blue Fairy Book, Letterpress Printing ABC, Conversations with a Toad, and Hoi Barbaroi, Fine Press Books
Vancouver Public Library, Special Collections 
As described by Grace Glueck in the New York Times article, Ode to Well-Made Books and the Art of Printing, “fine-press books are meant to celebrate the written word by masterly use of typography, illustration, layout, paper, binding and press work.”This emphasis on book design and production contrasts with the commercial slant of typical modern publishing. Even today, fine press books may be hand-set and hand-printed. Many books or portfolios incorporate the works of local or prominent artists. Fine press books are sometimes also referred to as small or private press books and are often available only as limited editions.The private press movement grew in the late nineteenth century with the formation of William Morris’ Kelmscott Press and continues to flourish today. Examples of current presses in British Columbia include the Barbarian Press, Frog Hollow Press, Greenboathouse Books, Heavenly Monkey, and (m)Öthêr Tøñgué Presš.Thanks to the generous donation of Yosef Wosk, the Special Collections recently purchased these titles to add to the library’s collection of fine press books.
Photo credit: Sue Camilleri Konar

Childhood Summers by the Sea, The Blue Fairy Book, Letterpress Printing ABC, Conversations with a Toad, and Hoi Barbaroi, Fine Press Books

Vancouver Public Library, Special Collections

As described by Grace Glueck in the New York Times article, Ode to Well-Made Books and the Art of Printing, “fine-press books are meant to celebrate the written word by masterly use of typography, illustration, layout, paper, binding and press work.”

This emphasis on book design and production contrasts with the commercial slant of typical modern publishing. Even today, fine press books may be hand-set and hand-printed. Many books or portfolios incorporate the works of local or prominent artists. Fine press books are sometimes also referred to as small or private press books and are often available only as limited editions.

The private press movement grew in the late nineteenth century with the formation of William Morris’ Kelmscott Press and continues to flourish today. Examples of current presses in British Columbia include the Barbarian Press, Frog Hollow Press, Greenboathouse Books, Heavenly Monkey, and (m)Öthêr Tøñgué Presš.

Thanks to the generous donation of Yosef Wosk, the Special Collections recently purchased these titles to add to the library’s collection of fine press books.

Photo credit: Sue Camilleri Konar

Unfaithful Originals and True Translations: The Thousand Nights and a Night - Dr. Paulo Lemos Horta
Vancouver Public Library, Special CollectionsJorge Luis Borges admired the inventive memory of the translators of the 1001 Nights who often recalled scenes absent in the originals with which they worked, such as the image of Aladdin’s false uncle putting his ear to the ground to hear his enemy’s footsteps on the other side of the earth. For the Argentine modernist Borges, originals could prove unfaithful to their translations, and this is indeed the case of the Arabian Nights.Scheherazade herself anticipated the translators in this respect. While she had “read the books of literature, philosophy, and medicine,” she also reinvented these sources to parcel out stories to astonish her husband King Shahryar and earn a reprieve from execution each night for a thousand nights and a night.Since the manuscript available to the tales’ first French translator, Antoine Galland, spanned only 271 nights, he improvised a further 730 - including the tales of “Aladdin”, “Ali Baba” and “Sinbad” - from other manuscripts and his mysterious informant, Hanna. Each Nights translator promises to offer the Arabian Nights as it ‘really is’, yet each remembers the work as his own. Edward Lane offered in his notes the religious teachings of his Cairo sheikh, and Richard Burton added insights illustrative of his own exploits as an anthropologist and adventurer.In fashioning sequels to the Nights, writers from Edgar Allan Poe to Joseph Roth continue the practice of Scheherazade and the translators of supplementing their source material. Jorge Luis Borges himself would recount an apocryphal night in which Scheherazade begins to relate her own tale thus extending her cycle of tales into infinity.This collection of Nights editions chronicles the evolution of a singulary universal work and demonstrates how translators and illustrators in effect co-author the tales. Highlights at the Special Collections include first editions by Lane (1839-1841) and Payne (1884) and early twentieth-century illustrated editions including Edmund Dulac’s Art Nouveau masterpiece Princess Badoura.
Photo credit: Kim McCarthy

Unfaithful Originals and True Translations: The Thousand Nights and a Night - Dr. Paulo Lemos Horta

Vancouver Public Library, Special Collections

Jorge Luis Borges admired the inventive memory of the translators of the 1001 Nights who often recalled scenes absent in the originals with which they worked, such as the image of Aladdin’s false uncle putting his ear to the ground to hear his enemy’s footsteps on the other side of the earth. For the Argentine modernist Borges, originals could prove unfaithful to their translations, and this is indeed the case of the Arabian Nights.

Scheherazade herself anticipated the translators in this respect. While she had “read the books of literature, philosophy, and medicine,” she also reinvented these sources to parcel out stories to astonish her husband King Shahryar and earn a reprieve from execution each night for a thousand nights and a night.

Since the manuscript available to the tales’ first French translator, Antoine Galland, spanned only 271 nights, he improvised a further 730 - including the tales of “Aladdin”, “Ali Baba” and “Sinbad” - from other manuscripts and his mysterious informant, Hanna. Each Nights translator promises to offer the Arabian Nights as it ‘really is’, yet each remembers the work as his own. Edward Lane offered in his notes the religious teachings of his Cairo sheikh, and Richard Burton added insights illustrative of his own exploits as an anthropologist and adventurer.

In fashioning sequels to the Nights, writers from Edgar Allan Poe to Joseph Roth continue the practice of Scheherazade and the translators of supplementing their source material. Jorge Luis Borges himself would recount an apocryphal night in which Scheherazade begins to relate her own tale thus extending her cycle of tales into infinity.

This collection of Nights editions chronicles the evolution of a singulary universal work and demonstrates how translators and illustrators in effect co-author the tales. Highlights at the Special Collections include first editions by Lane (1839-1841) and Payne (1884) and early twentieth-century illustrated editions including Edmund Dulac’s Art Nouveau masterpiece Princess Badoura.

Photo credit: Kim McCarthy